Mostly Credited As: Michael Parkinson
Date Of Birth: March 28, 1935 (Age 81)
Country Of Birth: United Kingdom
Birth Place: Cudworth, Barnsley, Yorkshire, England
Height: 5' 10" (1.77 m)
Michael Parkinson was educated at Barnsley Grammar School. He left at the age of 16 and his ambition of becoming a professional cricketer was dashed when he was rejected by Yorkshire County Cricket Club. He turned to journalism, worked on several local newspapers in Yorkshire before joining the Manchester Guardian. Michael covered all sorts, from chip pan fires in Oldham to political conferences. He joined the Observer to write about sport and became a columnist with The Sunday Times. His first work in television was as a current affairs producer at Granada Television. He joined the BBC as a reporter for "24 Hours". In 1969 he became the presenter of Granada's Cinema series. In 1971 he presented Thames Television's regular afternoon show, Teabreak. The BBC decided to give the still relatively young broadcaster his own evening chat show, "Parkinson", the same year. With his working class accent, Michael Parkinson was a breath of fresh air and over the next 11 years he interviewed many of the leading celebrities of the time. The programme established him as one of the best known faces on television, and his fame resulted in his writing for the first edition of the British Cosmopolitan Magazine and his appearance with Jon Pertwee on the front of the Radio Times. His relaxed chat show was axed in 1982. Parkinson moved to ITV and became part of the Famous Five that launched TV AM. In 1998 the BBC resurrected "Parkinson" and the ageing presenter found himself back on prime-time. He presents his own show on BBC Radio 2, during which he plays much of his beloved jazz music. He maintains notoriety for his outspoken comments about other television personalities, the Government and the state of British sport. Michael currently claims he will retire before he's 70 and set about writing the book of his life.